How to Retain Talented Members of Staff

Matt Pavli

Matt PavliMarketing Executive at Anderson Hoare

Monday, July 29, 2019

In today’s competitive job market, it’s crucial to not only find talented new members of staff, but to also retain your top performers.

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Keeping hold of talented employees is vital for the success of your organization as recruitment can be a time-consuming and costly process, shifting attention away from day-to-day management tasks and responsibilities. According to Capita’s 2018 Workplace Benefit Report, 90% of employers reported that they struggled to recruit people with the right skills, while 75% said finding the right person for a vacancy took, on average, one month and 24 days longer than expected.

It’s often said that employees are a company’s most valuable resource, and that’s especially true for long-term employees, who help to bring continuity to the running of an organization. Companies with a high staff turnover may also struggle to fill management positions that require a certain level of knowledge and experience of how the company is structured.

The tips below are designed to help employers increase their staff retention rates, and in turn, aid the long-term success of their company.

Respect employees’ needs

In the modern working world, where many companies offer insecure zero-hour and temporary contracts, respecting the particular needs of each employee is seen as more and more valuable.

Try and understand the human needs of your workforce: some people will need to work around the school run while others will require an extended period of sick leave or an absence for a religious holiday. If you respect their needs and allow them small privileges, your staff members will be more loyal to your company as they’ll feel like a valued member of your team.

Keep them challenged

Once a person’s basic needs are met, the next most important factor for staying in a job is self-actualization. This is the feeling that they’re achieving their maximum potential in the role. This principle is especially important for talented and high-performing staff members, who will feel they’re stagnating if their role doesn’t challenge them enough.

Remember that motivational goals will be different depending on the individual. Some will value material wealth or mastering a certain skill, whilst others will appreciate seeing their ideas adopted and actioned by the company. By speaking personally to your staff about their goals, perhaps in an annual performance review, you can tailor a specific set of goals designed around their values.

Staff training and feedback is extremely important for keeping high-performing staff motivated. If a team member feels they can’t achieve their potential in their current role, training them for a new position or giving them extra responsibility will help to keep them motivated.

It’s important that each member of staff feels they can advance personally and professionally within your organization, so try and provide constant opportunities for learning and advancement.

Reward employees

Whilst praising staff and offering different perks are a valuable means of showing gratitude to your employees, there’s no question what the number one most influential factor for staff happiness is. 54.2% of employees would leave their job for a pay rise so if you want your employees to stay put, you’ll need to keep up with their salary expectations.

You can periodically check how much your competitors are offering through any job adverts they publish, using this as well as other industry-specific salary reports to ensure your staff are properly rewarded.

For an added motivational factor, consider a profit-share for management staff – no employee wants to think they are simply creating wealth for someone else, so try and create a causal link between their performance and their remuneration.

Keep on top of office politics

One of the biggest causes for workplace unrest are when tensions arise with other employees. This is an inevitable part of spending long periods of time together, so be receptive to any employees who air their grievances. These types of workplace disputes can suck vital energy from your organization and, in worse case scenarios, cause members of staff to seek a new job.

Always consider how a prospective employee will fit in with your existing office environment before you offer them the job. Even if they have the right skills and qualifications, if you think they will clash with current members of staff they may not be the right fit.

Develop your company culture

Company culture – the values of your company and how each employee understands and interacts with them – is crucial to retaining staff. Creating this shared system of values and beliefs will help to energize your team members, making them feel part of a larger community.

Many companies will have slick PR messages about how they treat employees, but if you don’t practice what you preach it won’t convince existing staff to stay. Think about what the most important values are to your company and then how this is communicated to your staff. Management need to embody these values through their day-to-day actions to show employees that they take their company culture seriously.

You want to foster an environment where employees and management feel like they are contributing to a shared goal. This sense of belonging will motivate staff to take more responsibility, and ultimately to stay at the company for a longer period of time.

In Summary

A talented and hardworking member of staff is truly the most valuable asset a company can have. Whilst it’s inevitable you will lose some members of your team for various reasons, there are a number of tactics you can apply to ensure you keep hold of them for as long as possible.

Whether it’s respecting their personal needs, challenging and rewarding them or ensuring office disputes are identified and dealt with professionally, there are a lots of changes that can be made to improve your staff retention rate. By creating a positive company culture with shared values you will increase staff loyalty, motivating them to feel a sense of purpose in their work and ultimately meaning they will be happy to stay for longer periods of time.

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